Ethics Behind Copyright

Earlier this year, Taylor Swift’s team was said to have “silenced Rose Ellen Dix and Rosie Spaughton’s entire 30-minute wedding video...because they briefly danced to Shake it Off” (

What are the characteristics of a violation which constitutes an adequate case of issue in the copyright industry before extreme action is necessary?

Swift’s management has been known to take down tweets from Twitter fan accounts and had once “decided that Shane [Dawson’s] Blank Space parody video [posted onto Youtube] - which includes his own music and lyrics - was not to their liking” (

In “Questions on Ethics for Research in the Virtually Connected World”, Bettina Hoser and Tanja Nitschke write, “Neither public authorities nor any private company or individual may collect and use personal data freely. Usage of an individual’s data is strictly limited to the purpose the individual provided it for. As a consequence, usage by other persons or for other purposes is illegitimate” (Hoser & Nitschke 183). Hoser and Nitschke make an understandable point in terms of using one’s personal data, and this may also apply to the intellectual property that the management and company of Taylor Swift deems to constitute their own and illegitimate for use by other persons. However, in the case where Rose Dix and her wife Rosie Spaughton, as well as Youtuber Shane Dawson use either Swift’s music in the background, and Swift’s idea in act of parody respectively, there was no obvious money-making intent in their use but rather an act of involving Swift’s art in capturing a memory or as entertainment to others, which is where the resulting reactions of fans and critics on various media platforms voice their opinions on the supposed abuse that Dix, Spaughton, Dawson and many others form in alleged violation.

Hoser and Nitschke write, “It is a well known effect that once data is available it will be used” (181). They also point out, “Since the amount of data is huge, control becomes a problem” (182).

Is there a larger need for a bold line to be drawn in terms of the ethics behind issues of violation of personal data and intellectual property constitute adequate action upon individuals justify the need for action?

Works Cited

“Taylor Swift Mutes Youtuber’s Wedding Video with Copyright Claim.” Superfame., 09 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

“Taylor Swift Abuses Copyright to Take Down Shane Dawson’s ‘Violent’ Parody.” Superfame., 24 Dec. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Hoser, Bettina, and Tanja Nitschke. “Questions on Ethics for Research in the Virtually Connected World.” Elsevier (2009): 180-86. ScienceDirect. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.